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Christian Doidge helps Hibernian beat Forfar in Scottish Cup

Christian Doidge (Joe Giddens/PA)
Christian Doidge (Joe Giddens/PA)

Christian Doidge helped Hibernian avoid Scottish Gas Scottish Cup humiliation with a 1-0 fourth-round victory against League Two side Forfar.

A saved Joe Newell penalty along with plenty of missed chances led to a frustrating afternoon for the Premiership side before Doidge rose highest to grab the winner in the 69th minute.

Lewis Stevenson returned to the starting line-up as Nick Montgomery made three changes from their last outing before the winter break against Motherwell alongside James Jeggo and Rudi Molotnikov.

Roberto Nditi and Josh Skelly came in for the Station Park side as Ray McKinnon played a 4-5-1 with the hope of catching his opponents on the break.

Hibs were under the cosh immediately and were given a fright twice within quick succession on three minutes. An Andy Munro knockdown was smashed goalwards by Seb Ross, forcing David Marshall to clip the ball past the left-hand post, before a Stuart Morrison header from the subsequent corner smacked off the right post.

Forfar continued to be in the ascendancy in the opening exchanges with Ross swinging a corner towards Matty Allan that was cleared off the line by Doidge before Mark Whatley fired over.

The Easter Road outfit started to threaten as the half progressed when a Jair Tavares cross found Molotnikov who steered his header wide.

The Edinburgh club were huffing and puffing for that elusive opener and were awarded a penalty on 31 minutes after Nditi fouled Stevenson inside the area. Newell stepped up from 12 yards but a superb save from Marc McCallum denied the Hibs playmaker.

After an underwhelming opening half, Hibs looked to create a spark just a few minutes after the restart as Elie Youan played the ball across goal for Doidge but it evaded the Englishman.

Despite a difference of three leagues between the sides, the hosts almost broke the deadlock on 57 minutes with Ross flashing an effort narrowly wide.

The opener finally came on 69 minutes for the Premiership side. A Tavares free-kick from the left gave the home defence problems and Doidge jumped above McCallum to guide his header into an empty net.